Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To the Girl Walking Her Dog with a Multi-Colored Umbrella in Hand

(This isn't in the vein of those Craigslist Missed Connections ads, because this girl is nearby, though some height up from me, and there may be another time that she comes down my way when I'm outside again. Plus, there's no way she'd come upon this entry since she doesn't even know who I am, but there are some thoughts that I feel compelled to write as if she might find it.)

I finally had a dream I'd been wanting for weeks, one where I was clear of mind and emotions and knew exactly what I was saying and feeling like it was right. Basically, the person I'd like to be, but only have the courage to be in my dreams so far.

I was in some kind of a classroom, though it wasn't the kind typical of education. Something was playing on a screen and there were people around, but it seemed like so much was going on at once. Kathryn Joosten, who played Mrs. Landingham on The West Wing was sitting next to me and I thanked her profusely for her invaluable contribution to a TV series that's still my favorite, even with it having been off the air for three years.

Then, a beautiful black girl walked in and took a seat in the vertical row of desks next to mine and there was a spark between us. She felt it, because she looked at me again after she'd passed by me. I was intrigued by her because she walked with such self-confidence. She was sure of herself and the world around her and I liked that. There didn't seem to be any mucking about with her, and that's what I like.

I'm not sure if she and I talked while near each other. We might have, though I believe that based on what came next, it was brief. It may have been an introduction, it may have been a comment on the day so far, it may have just been a simple hello. But I remember that the time had come to leave that classroom and she had come up to me hoping for a more expansive conversation. I think I brushed her off indifferently, but I don't know why. My face fell when I saw her rush out with disappointment on her face and she might have been near tears. I rushed out of the classroom, leaving behind my backpack, my wallet, my cellphone. I never do that, anywhere.

I caught up to her, stopped her and first told her that I left everything behind in that classroom to quickly catch up to her, and I never do that. Then I explained straight out why I had done what I did: I was 25 years old and hadn't had a girlfriend since I was 14. I wasn't sure how to act, I wasn't sure what to do. This surprised her, but also relieved her in showing that it wasn't her personally that made me act like I did. I liked her very much too. Unfortunately at that moment, I woke up. But in that dream, I felt like my heart was soaring when I saw her, like I could make this work. It felt like there was nothing inside my body dragging me down. I could have floated.

And, as if some force of nature had sensed my disappointment in that dream ending abruptly, you were outside, walking past my neighborhood. It was raining and I had just walked both of my dogs because they hadn't been outside since early this morning. I hadn't expected it to rain like it was, thinking that the weather would have held off until early tomorrow morning, as was predicted. But there was the rain, and after seeing the garbage and recycling bin lids open outside, I knew I had to dump the water out of my family's garbage bin (the recycling bin lid was closed), and I had to do it soon.

So I did, right after drying off Tigger (part miniature pinscher, part Italian greyhound). I went to the curb and you were coming up the street, holding a multi-colored umbrella (sections of separate colors in a circle), and walking what looked like an unhappy pitbull. I glanced at you and then put the garbage bin on the ground and pulled up the bottom so the water would fall out. I put the bin back on the ground, pulled it back up and quickly closed the lid. I took the recycling bin and began to roll it back to the house. But I stopped. You intrigued me. You looked to be about my height, 5'5" or 5'6", and perhaps my age, or maybe in your late 20s. I hoped you weren't 44 years old, just to pick a random older number. I still don't know, but you looked like you were about as old as me.

You either live in the development right above mine, taking the road up there, or the one at the top of that mountainside with four houses there. After I rolled the recycling bin back into the garage, I went back out for the garbage bin (always an order: recycling bin first and then the garbage bin because it sits next to the garage door), and I saw a piece of your umbrella from where I was standing. Then, I saw you walk back down with your dog, even though it was still raining. Did you sense me looking at you? Were you possibly interested too? Did I idiotically lose yet another chance with yet another girl? If you were coming back down to complain to me about my staring, I apologize. But to see the sight of you walking your dog, with that umbrella that was happier than my own (stripes of dark colors), in noticeable, though not heavily pouring rain, it was inspiring to me. I wonder if you were out with your dog at that time because he (or she) had to go out or you just liked that weather and wanted a reasonable excuse to go outside to experience it. If the rain starts up again later this morning, I don't think I'd go outside to stand in it, even with a proper coat and umbrella. Not that I think I'd look crazy, but there's much work I have to do and I don't think there'd be another sight as enchanting as you. I don't remember seeing your face, but I think with how you were walking, interested in the rain, that I'd easily give it a chance. I don't walk my dogs in the front that often. I use the patio because it's a simulation of the terrain in Las Vegas, so my dogs are used to it when my family and I eventually move there. I didn't want to reveal that, just in case there might be a chance to get to know you and possibly more, but we've been here six years and there may not even be a job for my dad next year as a business education teacher based on how they keep talking about cutting education in this state.

If we meet each other again and talk, and if there's a connection there, I'll be disappointed only because having lived here in Saugus for five years (our first year was in an apartment in Valencia), you might have lived here around the time I moved here, and maybe even earlier, and I could have had more time with you. It would have made the days in this valley far more interesting than they usually are. And if we don't meet again, you've done well as my temporary muse. I wrote this not only to go over the event in my mind again, but also to get mentally limber to continue my share of a book project. Now I want to write that essay on James Dean just for you. I know you'll probably never read it since you don't know me or my name, but what the heck, motivation to write for you is enough for me.

I love the rain, especially after the hot, dry winds this valley endured some weeks ago, so thank you for making a bright day even brighter.

P.S.: If you were actually attracted to a guy wearing a zipped-up, thin black jacket and red sleep pants with the Dr. Pepper logo stamped all over, then I made a huge mistake in not starting a conversation with you.


  1. Ah-Ha!
    Another possible missed oportunity? Next time, if the occassion arrises, at least say "Hi".

    Some of us gals like red pj's with Dr. Pepper logos. First impresssions see everything.

  2. I'm trying to remember that this isn't 6th grade anymore, that I should be over fear of rejection already. I'm hoping she'll mosey down my way again.

    I've also got sleep pants with Homer Simpson all over.